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stoowho
Laptop compatibility
on Jun 4, 2006 at 2:46:44 am

I'm suspect this problem has been visited on this forum before, I just can't find it.

The issue is making a DVD that will work flawlessly across the spectrum of laptops, desktops and set-top players. I had this problem last year with a clients laptop. His machine would play Seabiscuit fine, but not my DVD. Other laptops I tried it on, all running Windows XP had better success, about 90%.
Now I just got a call from a a new client, same thing. The disk I just burned for him, from an image, won't play in his laptop. I asked him to try it in a set-top, which I'm guessing will play fine, as it often turns out.

An associate suggested I send him a +R, instead of a minus R, that it might make a difference. I'm reluctant to do that though without knowing that it has a good chance at making a difference and why that might be. I'd really like to know what the solution is rather than just keep giving this client guesses.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Stu


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mark harvey
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 5, 2006 at 2:34:18 pm

I find that I have a better success rate with -R than with +R. I also burn my media at a slow rate. I do not go above 4X. My home DVD player (Pionner) will not play anything that has been burned over 4X....well, it will play, but not properly.

I also use good media. I prefer TDK disks. I have burned around 450 of these disks with 2 coasters...a pretty good record I would say.

Mark


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cow
Jeff Bellune
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 5, 2006 at 3:05:15 pm

Mark made some very good points. Follow his advice.

Additionally, you must consider that there will never be 100% compatibility between burned discs and DVD players. The best you can hope for is about 80% - 90%.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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cow
stoowho
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 6, 2006 at 3:19:58 am

Thanks Jeff,
Hmmm, in one easy to digest sentence, can you give me some insight into why the compatibility rate can't be closer to 100%. Is it strickly a hardware issue.

If I just had some rationale I could feed my clients when they say, "Hey, my laptop plays Seabiscuit. Must be something wrong with your DVD." I don't tap dance well and so I just throw up my hands and say, "I'll look into it, and get back to you."

Thanks again Jeff!
-Stu


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 6, 2006 at 4:57:37 am

Hi Stu,

The DVD spec states very clearly what is expected of a DVD disc when it is inserted into a DVD player. Burned DVDs introduce variations that can fall outside of the DVD spec. They do this at a much higher rate than stamped (replicated) discs. Physical variations (does the data surface have the proper reflectivity?), logical variations (is all the information about the disc arranged in the proper order and in the proper place on the disc?) and application variations (are there any bursts of data that exceed the limit for DVD?) are the result of manufacturing issues with blank media, hardware and firmware issues with the DVD burners and authoring/encoding issues with the software that was used to author the disc. Not to mention that writable discs come in at least 4 different flavors: DVD +/- R and DVD +/- RW.

You will have fewer variations from high-quality blank media, fewer variations from name-brand burners that are updated with the latest firmware, and fewer variations from professional-level authoring packages (although system and other software conflicts can ruin the performance of even high-priced authoring software).

Add to that the fact that some DVD players are better than others. Pioneer can charge $1000 for its Elite DVD player, while Magnavox can charge $30 for its cheapest DVD player. What makes the Pioneer worth so much more than the Magnavox? More features. Better workmanship inside. Better error-correction circuitry. Better lasers. Better drive motors. And so on. The Elite will most likely play anything you throw at it, including DVD-Audio discs. The Magnavox might play the Memorex disc that you recorded with the DVD burner that you bought at last week's swap meet and that you authored with Joe Bob's free DVD authoring program that you downloaded from spyinyoursoft.com, but then again, it might not.

I know that's not a one-sentence answer, but the simple fact is that there are too many variables in "homemade" discs to ensure full compatibility with all DVD players. Many of the variables that I mentioned are removed when you have your discs replicated at a masering facility.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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stoowho
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 6, 2006 at 3:13:40 am

Thanks Mark for your help. I'm using the Taiyo Yuden -R DVDs that I've had good succcess with. I haven't tried limiting it to 4X though. Last year I tried burning a troublesome project at 1X and it actually made it worse!
I'm still a bit perplexed by the whole laptop issue though since that has been more of a bugaboo than anything else in the last few years. I've tried to isolate it to the OS, the software DVD player used etc., without any additional insight.

Thanks again!
-Stu


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mark harvey
Re: Laptop compatibility
on Jun 6, 2006 at 10:30:27 am

I have both Sony and Pioneer burners at home. In my home system I use a Sony burner, and it has proven to be problematic. In my home production machine I have 4 Pioneer drives and have had virtually no problems whatsoever.

Some things I always do when burning.... Turn off any Virus Scanners. Virus Scanners can cause spikes in the ram and can affect the burned disk. I also make sure that no other application is open when burning. Again, even when an applicaiton is in the background, it is a running process and can cause issues. Am I being too cautious, maybe, but there again I have had great results with this practice.

Taiyo are supposed to be great disks. I have read very good reports about them. I personally like TDK. I use the printable TDK -R disks. I also use TDK miniDV tape for shooting. I just like TDK stuff. I have not had issues with their media.

Good luck to you,

Mark


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